Occasions 365

Birthday Parties

Ideas for birthday party themes

Birthday parties never get old. They're one of life's great joys, a time to celebrate togetherness with those who are closest to you. But it's easy to find yourself feeling frustrated rather than festive if the party planning task has fallen on your lap. However, if you take a systematic and rational approach to the problem, even the most inexperienced of birthday party planners can come up with a fabulous fiesta that will be memorable for all.

Ideas for Birthday Party Themes

Birthday party themes should be selected to reflect the celebrant's age; for example, "over the hill" themes are popular 40th birthday party ideas, and milestone birthdays like the Sweet 16 and 21st birthday also warrant some extra-special attention. You should also reach out to the birthday person's friends, spouses, significant others and family to come up with ideas for the party.

There are endless variations on these themes, and you're limited only by your creativity, but here are a few suggestions for kids, teens and adults:

  • Kids: Have a theme revolving around the birthday boy or girl's favorite movies, books or hobbies.
  • Teens: Mall scavenger hunts can be great fun for teens. Other popular ideas include dance parties, makeover parties and karaoke parties.
  • Adults: In addition to the "over the hill" theme, generational parties that hearken back to the decade in which the celebrant was born can also be great fun.

The Practical Aspects of Birthday Party Planning

Invitations should be clear and specify whether an RSVP is required. Be sure to cover all the basics: start time, end time, place, date and theme (if any). Consider starting a gift registry to eliminate any chance of guests doubling up on presents.

Start gathering the birthday party supplies early. The more time you have to shop around, the better your chances of finding bargains and preventing the budget from ballooning out of control.

If possible, choose birthday party games that reflect the themes. As a general rule, encourage participation from everyone at the party by offering prizes or birthday party favors to everyone who participates or attends.

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